Reforming the Gaming Industry

Chapter 22 in The Future of Tech is Female: How to Achieve Gender Diversity (NYU Press 2018)

U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018-19

13 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2018 Last revised: 26 Jul 2018

See all articles by Douglas M. Branson

Douglas M. Branson

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law (Emeritus)

Date Written: July 12, 2018


Our nation’s most cutting edge industry, information technology (IT), has the poorest record in promoting women to high-level management positions, ranking last on the “boo list.” This book -- The Future of Tech is Female: How to Achieve Gender Diversity -- documents that phenomenon, using it as a starting point for an analysis of women’s role in executive positions and corporate governance generally. Thereafter the book departs greatly from all the previous literature that puts the onus on women and women alone (get a mentor, network, do more STEM, lean in). The time has long since passed when the finger should be pointed at corporations and industries that historically confine themselves to words alone and expression of noble sentiments. Multiple chapters of the book then follow with analysis of devices and conventions many countries and corporations within them have utilized in seeking to promote women to directorships and to senior management roles. Those devices include quota laws, certificate and pledge programs, formalized mentoring, mentoring combined with sponsorship, comply or explain requirements, re-directed STEM emphasis and programs, mandated disclosure, expanded (or truncated) guest worker (H-1B visa) use, mandated disclosure, and mandates for structured searches. In final Chapters 22 and 23, the book concludes by pointing out the urgent need to reform attitudes toward women in one particular IT branch, namely, the video and computer gaming field, the field that acts as a gateway to many STEM futures. Most emphatically, the book approaches the subject from the standpoint of what the industry and companies can do, as opposed to the “how to” and advice books that dominate the dialogue.

Keywords: technology industry, gender diversity, gender equity, corporate governance, entertainment software industry, objectification of women in video games, violence against women, women as sex objects, gaming industry reform, chilling effect, women directors, markets, STEM programs

JEL Classification: G39, K22, L29, M14, M31, O39

Suggested Citation

Branson, Douglas, Reforming the Gaming Industry (July 12, 2018). Chapter 22 in The Future of Tech is Female: How to Achieve Gender Diversity (NYU Press 2018); U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018-19. Available at SSRN:

Douglas Branson (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law (Emeritus) ( email )

3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-624-3437 (Phone)

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